February 1st, 2008
02:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Another record-breaking night

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.wolfdebate.cnn.jpg caption="More than 8 million voters tuned in last night."]NEW YORK (CNN) - I am now back in New York after taking the red-eye from LA. My job may not necessarily be as glamorous as it sounds - but I am not complaining at all.

I was honored to represent CNN at the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It was historic - the first time we saw a woman and an African-American together on the stage poised to become the Democratic presidential nominee. The excitement at the Kodak Theater was palpable.

Going into the debate, I was a little nervous. I knew millions of people would be watching. And indeed, they were. We now know that a record 8.3 million watched in the United States – more than any other presidential primary debate on cable news ever. The previous record was the 4.9 million who watched our Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier in January. Many millions more watched the debate on CNNPolitics.com, and on CNN International around the world.

I want to thank my debate partners, Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times and Jeanne Cummings of Politico.com, for joining me in the questioning. When I introduced them last night as excellent journalists, I spoke the truth. I have worked with them over the years covering many stories, and they really are among the best in the business.

Now, we get ready for Super Tuesday. It will be an enormous challenge for those of us in the television news business. But we at CNN have the best political team on television, and I can promise you this – we will be ready for all the action.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Sue

    I think CNN's bias for Barack Obama is terrible, and Wolf Blitzer suggesting that Hillary Clinton as naive to be reprehensible. A clear act of attempting to tilt the debate to the way that he wanted it to go.. I have had enough of CNN's biased coverage of the Democratic nomination, and that most definitely includes Anderson Cooper as well. I used to like him.

    February 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. John in Columbus

    Hello...testing 1 2 3 4 testing. I have been trying all week to get a comment posted but either my computer is in some twilight zone or I have really bad BO~CNN, will you please post this so I can either stop wasting my time or put my two cents in.

    February 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. TIN

    You guys keep bragging about having the "best politcal Team on TV. " You are showing your true colors. It does not take a genius for one to realize that you are clearly favoring Barack. Wolf, how could you ask such a question to Hillary? Were you part of the debate or moderating the debate? Please CNN, be objective otherwise you will lose viewers like me. Even when the GOP candidates had their debate, Anderson Cooper ignored Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. How insulting to the two candidates. I find MSNBC to be more open and objective and I am slowly drifting there. I find Donna Brazile to be more open-minded. Carl Bernstein is nothing, but a Hillary hater. Don't hate!

    February 1, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Ruth

    Mr. Blitzer,

    I fully agree with Karen. You were not fair with Ms. Clinton, quite disrespectful in your line of questioning to suggest that she was naive. Your job calls for objectivity – not prefarence for any candidate.

    February 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |


    February 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Whose had Enough

    I'm sorry Mr. Blitzer...but the debate was over in the first 5 minutes after both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton thanked John Edwards for being in the race. John Edwards ran the hardest and most honest campaign. He forced the previous debates and won!

    Like the media failing to call out the Bush administration in the run up to the war in Iraq. It has failed again. It's not all about the "RATINGS"

    I'm still voting for John Edwards on Feb 5th Super-Tuesday. He can still get delegates and then throw them to either of the other candidates at the convention.

    February 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Brigitte Freund

    Hi Mr. Wolf...
    I can't believe the traction Obama is getting from his speech in 2002 about the Iraq War...and how many News-anchor and also in the debates no one ever brings up that Obama never had to VOTE in the Senate. It gives the "IMPRESSION"
    that he actually VOTED against the War the way you all talk about it.
    I wonder how he would have voted if he were in the Senate at that time....?
    PRESENT.....? like he did on many other occasions since he joined the Senate.
    He is a good speaker, hat is his Profession....to inspire the audience....but it takes
    more than inspiration to be a President, especially at this time in our Country.
    We need someone with experience, like Hillary.
    Mr. Wolf...be fair and explain to the American people that Obama only gave his opinion about the Iraq War.
    Many of us had an opinion.... Thank you, lets see if you post my opinion...
    Go Hillary Go ...for President!!!

    February 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. Lee Chang, Surrey, Canada

    Wolf and CNN: When I watched the debates , it was so clear that Hillary was the obvious winner – she has her facts, strategy and issues clearly articulated. But you and the panels you invited to CNN have not stones to say that Obama is just "words no substance". And yes CNN, you are bias!!

    February 1, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. msd1

    I, too, thought your 'bias' for one candidate was quite apparent. Such a shame, as historical this debate was, for you to take that path.

    February 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. Adam from LA

    I was so proud to be part of the crowd at the Kodak theater. Never in my life have i witnessed such a proud showing of free speech and patriotism. This will definitely go down in history as the greatest primary we have ever seen.

    February 1, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. lon

    One candidate in this race seems to be on CNN all the time, " Barack" . Yes I am black and I like him but it seems your analysts during the week are not objective when it comes to anything he says or does. It is important as the leading poltical team you give all candidates i.e both parties the same amount of media coverage which is objective so that we can choose the right person. You are dealing with the most powerful postion in America. Overall last night's debate was great although you didn't focus on the economy enough. CNN has become ONN(OBAMA NEWS NETWORK).

    February 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Wolf, I like your style, you seem to be the fairest of all the commentators. Especially that guy Chris Matthews , who seems to try to be a know it all, rude, and arrogant. I believe that Both Hillary and Barack will be good for this country, and that substance , will prevail. When it comes to Bill Clinton, It sems that the media is doing good job on trying to undermine his statements, and make this out of a racial campaign. Im an Afican-american Male 45 and there are others like me who will vote our conscience and not based on race. But also keep this in mind, Any smart man would support his wife, like Bill has his. I dont faught the brother.

    February 1, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Roni

    I echo Karen's feelings, Wolf. I've always respected you as a journalist- but you showed disrespect to Sen Hillary Clinton in the LA debate!!

    February 1, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Sue

    You did a great job Wolf!
    You were totally fair and did a wonderful job.

    February 1, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. nikki

    I agree with chris,

    you were not fair to Hillary Clinton...she knows how politics work and she showed last night what she has accomplished in washington . She can get lot more done for this country than obama can..

    February 1, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Zen

    You disrespected Hillary. Were you NAIVE oooo come on. That was inelegant of you.

    February 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Pam

    I find favortism toward Obama from CNN as well. Twice last night Wolf disrespected Hillary Clinton and it was unnecessary. Two comments were made, one being something like "couldn't she just admit making a mistake" because she voted for the war in Iraq, and the other was the "niave" comment. Were these comments directed to her because she is a woman? That tone was certainly never directed toward Obama! I'm going to be tuning in to Fox News as well. I'm tired of the obvious tilted scales on CNN. And, that wicked laugh from the woman who directed her question toward Hillary regarding Bill Clinton was hideous.

    February 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. A, Ca

    I am sick and tired of pro-Obama reporters at CNN.
    Is John King Obama's press secretary?

    February 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Terry

    Congratulations on the record breaking night but I was extremely disappointed in the way you moderated Wolf. There was no need for you to put yourself in to the conversation the way you did. It was almost like you were trying to get something going. It was great to see the candidates did not take the bait. The best journalists are the ones who you can not tell which way they lean...Anderson Cooper is a perfect example of that. I really hope that in the next important debate CNN hosts, that is taken in to consideration.

    February 1, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Free

    Moderators should be fair and impartial (qualities you obviously did not possess last night). Your interjection, claiming Hillary is naive, was unnecessary. I have no problem with your endorsement of Obama, but please do so on your own time.

    February 1, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. freddy

    hey i saw debate yesterday was nice and i guess hillary she did good she slightly ahead over obama but both they was nice and good but the only thing i want to tell cnn u guys need stop be bias its looks like cnn is obama second campagn

    February 1, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. truth

    CNN holds grudge against Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. And it is so obvious. Why does CNN show favortism toward Obama? Does media think they can influence or decide for us who to choose? Hillary definitely is a leader with experiences, qualifications, and tenacity. Her answers are full of substances. She definetely has hundred times more knowledge than Obama. Obama just blah, blah, blah,....... about his community organizer and civil rights attorney experiences – for how long??? Why does he and his family live in a 1.6 million dollar home with the help of Tony Rezko ($300,000 below asking price)?? He does not inspire me with his "false hope" promises. I don't trust CNN any more. I would rather watch MSNBC!!!

    February 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Impressed

    Thank you Wolf for allowing candidates to speak and yet keeping things moving. This was a very difficult situation and you and your colleagues were great!

    February 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Brenda in SC

    I feel that there is definite bias in favorite of Obama on the part of CNN – I think as responsible a new service you should remain impartial.

    I realize there may be some medial contact because of Oprah's media connections When both democrats were debating don't be so openly partial to one candidate. I thought both before and after debate comments by the so called experts were very biased as was the debate.

    I feel that the race card is being up-played by the media and encouraging the Africa Americans to vote race not necessarily for the candidate they feel in the heart of hearts may be the best candidate for a country in serious troubles.

    Wake up people recession or depression, we better get the right person in office this time because the last 8 years has almost destroyed this nation.

    February 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. matt

    The whole news media seems to be bias, for obama. No one seems to want to
    challenge his credentials, for obvious reasons (don’t want to seem racist) and less obvious reasons(?). Just look at any major news organizations web page they all refuse to show a bad news for obama and seems to focus on bad news for Hilary and this was illuminated even more in last night’s debate. It was like watching randy Johnson(Pro pitcher) pitching questions to Clinton and a ten-year-old girl pitching questions to obama. Even though she is clearly ahead in 17 of the 22 states that will vote on Super Tuesday and by the way the only state’s obama leads in is his own and a few states that always go republican.

    February 1, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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